Three new ships arrived in the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday morning to join search and rescue operations for the missing OceanGate Titan submarine. The submarine is faced with a dwindling oxygen supply.
The US Coast Guard has confirmed that these new vessels come with additional tools capable of scanning the ocean floor.
Their arrival is crucial as they race against time to save all five people on board, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, British businessman Hamish Harding, father and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood from one of the most wealthy women from Pakistan, and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a former French naval officer and renowned Titanic expert.
“John Cabot has side scan sonar capabilities and is conducting search patterns alongside Skandi Vinland and Atlantic Merlin.” the Coast Guard said.
USCG Capt. Jamie Frederick stated Tuesday that the primary goal is to locate the missing submarine, which went missing Sunday while trying to reach the Titanic wreck about 400 miles south of Newfoundland.
US and Canadian naval and civilian resources have been deployed to search an area the size of Connecticut in hopes of finding the 21-foot submersible that may be trapped on the ocean floor. If it is discovered intact, it will be a race against time. However, the Coast Guard has not confirmed whether the noises detected were due to someone “knocking” or “knocking.”
According to Dr. Brendan Englot, an underwater robotics expert at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, any rescue attempt at depths as shallow as the Titanic would be considered “unprecedented.”
“The kind of rescues that have been successful have been at much shallower depths,” He said, between 2,000 and 5,000 feet below sea level.
“Here you’re talking about something 13,000 feet down, much higher pressures. If this vessel is at the bottom, that would be unprecedented.”
Englot explained that submarines are not typically built to reach the depths of the Titan, a purpose-built submersible designed for exploration of the ocean depths.
He suggested that a possible rescue strategy could involve the employment of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) commonly used in deep-sea activities, such as the construction of oil rigs and the laying of submarine cables.
Titanic Explorer reveals: Two causes of disaster during the dive are survivors, but one means catastrophe
The submersible vessel that went missing during its dive in the Titanic wreck may have encountered one of three potential disasters normally avoided on such expeditions: a hull breach, fire, or entanglement.
Joe MacInnis, a renowned Canadian explorer and physician who has visited the Titanic site four times and is familiar with one of the Titan’s missing passengers, explained that hull failure would be catastrophic and survivable due to implosion.
On the other hand, the risks of fire and entanglement can be managed.
Submersible crews are trained for fire emergencies, and well-equipped submarines have firefighting capabilities.
MacInnis personally experienced being trapped by the Titanic and successfully breaking free more than 30 years ago during his second dive on the ship.
He recalls the intense moment when his submersible became entangled in cables as it landed on the Titanic’s cockpit floor, preventing his ascent.
Fortunately, a second submersible was sent to assess the situation and guide the chief pilot in maneuvering to free himself from the entanglement.
This self-rescue capability, whether through an additional submersible or a rapidly deployed remote-controlled vehicle, plays a crucial role in these types of expeditions. France has deployed the research vessel Atalante, equipped with an underwater robot, to reach the missing ship.
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